Facts About Adult ADHD and How Medicine Can Help

ADHD Treatment at UVBH

Adult ADHD is a mental health condition that affects your ability to focus, hold still, and control your behavior. ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. 

ADHD is often diagnosed in childhood, but symptoms can persist into adulthood. And in some cases, symptoms don’t manifest until adulthood. 

Almost 5% of adults have ADHD, but in reality, this number may be much higher. Many cases go unreported either because signs and symptoms are ignored, or people aren’t comfortable seeking treatment. 

A large number of children have ADHD, so chances are they still have it as adults. However, some kids may learn to cope with their symptoms while they’re young, meaning they can better manage them as they grow up.

Other times, when we assess adult patients for ADHD, we often discover they’ve had behavior matching the condition’s description when they were children. But many times, it doesn’t become problematic until they face the challenges that come with being an adult. 

Symptoms of Adult ADHD

In adults, ADHD can show up as impulsive behavior, lack of concentration, or taking risks that aren’t in your best interest.

Adults with ADHD often describe symptoms like:

  • Being easily distracted
  • Lack of focus
  • Being disorganized
  • Misplacing things
  • Restlessness
  • Always running late
  • Interrupting others
  • Procrastinating on important tasks 

These problems can be severe and lead to issues damaging your family life, work, and relationships. 

Causes and Diagnosis of ADHD

The cause of ADHD is unknown, but there’s evidence that ADHD runs in families. Individual circumstances such as unstable family life or lack of resources may also impact this condition’s development. However, watching too much TV or eating too much sugar have not been shown to cause symptoms of ADHD. 

There’s no specific test for diagnosing ADHD. You need to speak with a qualified mental health professional to get a detailed assessment of your physical and mental health history. 

When seeking an evaluation, we recommend talking to an expert mental health provider to ensure you’re getting the correct diagnosis. We’re trained to thoroughly analyze your medical history, which may make all the difference in getting you started with the right treatment. 

There’s nothing worse than being misdiagnosed and getting discouraged that nothing is working, so choose your provider carefully.

ADHD has no cure, but we can successfully treat it with medication. To experience the best possible results, you must work with an experienced medical practitioner skilled in choosing the right medication for your needs. 

How ADHD Medication Works

ADHD medication works by improving the way messages are transmitted through your brain and nervous system. These messages use chemicals called neurotransmitters to pass information along chains of nerve cells called neurons.

There are a few ways these messages get mixed up, causing symptoms in people with ADHD. 

  • Problems can occur when neurons don’t release enough neurotransmitter chemicals to help the message move along.
  • The chemicals released by the neurons may have trouble attaching to the next neuron down the transmission chain.
  • And sometimes, the neuron releases its neurotransmitter but decides to reabsorb some of it. Then, the amount of neurotransmitter left over isn’t enough to deliver the complete message to the next neuron in the chain.

When messages aren’t being passed down the neuron chain correctly, your attention span can suffer. 

ADHD medication helps keep messages running smoothly from neuron to neuron. If you have ADHD, you may need a prescription to help your neurons release more neurotransmitters. Or, you may need a different drug that slows down the reabsorption of neurons, making sure the chemical message arrives in one piece to the next cell in the neuron chain.

Getting the Right ADHD Medication 

Depending on the type of ADHD medication you need, you can experience results in as little as an hour or up to one week. 

This is pretty fast compared to how long it takes other psychiatric medicines to work. And don’t worry – your personality won’t change when you start medication for your ADHD. You can expect an increased ability to focus, and better control over your behavior.

Always be sure you’re getting FDA-approved medications. You want to get the medicine that’s ideal for you. You don’t want to unknowingly accept a prescription or supplement that isn’t the very best choice because that’s all your provider can prescribe.

Medication for ADHD works well for most people. Your provider should continue to monitor you to see if your dose needs to be adjusted. Any prescription medication may have side effects. When receiving care from a licensed professional, you’ll learn about all the possible side effects you may experience while taking your new medication. They’ll also counsel you on the best ways to manage any unpleasant side effects so ultimately you feel the most relief possible. 

ADHD drugs must be taken consistently to continue working. If you decide to stop taking your medicine, your symptoms will come back. Make sure you talk to your prescribing provider if you’re thinking about doing this.

The most common FDA-approved medications our experts prescribe for Adult ADHD at Upper Valley Behavioral Health include:

  • Adderall XR (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine)
  • Concerta ER (methylphenidate HCl ER)
  • Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride)
  • Strattera (atomoxetine)
  • Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate)

Get the Best Online Care for Adult ADHD

No two cases of adult ADHD are the same, and there is no cookie-cutter treatment for it. Your history and symptoms play a crucial role in determining the best treatment for you. Medication helps many people get their symptoms under control so they can manage work, family, and relationships better. Learning how to change your behavior and talk therapy with a licensed professional may also be useful tools.

Be sure to choose a board-certified mental health expert for your ADHD assessment and treatment.

Take the next step to find out if you have adult ADHD. Contact the board-certified experts at Upper Valley Behavioral Health to schedule an assessment.

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For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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